Raymond Ozoji, Awka
There is fresh crisis at Ekwulobia community in Aguata local government area, Anambra state, following the implementation of its vote of no confidence resolution on the traditional ruler of Ekwulobia, Igwe Emmanuel Chukwukadibia Onyeneke, Ezejiofor 11 of Ekwulobia by the Agba Development Union (ADU), a village out of the 9 villages in Ekwulobia.
The village said its decision was hinged on lack of peace in the community since the enthronement of Igwe Onyeneke since December 2008. This, it said, is a move to restore peace to Ekwulobia.
The Agba Development Union also recalled all her representatives in the Igwe’s cabinet and traditional council whether as Ichie, Aka-Ichie or Chief until peace is restored to the community.
There are nine villages in Ekwulobia though the community is divided into two traditional divisions – Ezi and Ifite. The nine villages are Umuchiana, Agba, Umuchi, Ula, Okpo, Eziagulu, Nkono, Abogwume, and Ihuokpala.
The statement by Agba Village Development Union announcing the stand of the village was signed by Okoli Uchechukwu Bertrand Bsc, Vice Chairman, Agba Development Union, Engr. Okoye Ikechukwu Buddy, General Secretary Agba Development Union and Bar. Augustine Ezeokeke Uchendu, Legal Adviser, Agba Development Union respectively.
The village as well rejected the appointment of Reverend Chukwuemeka Ezeike as President General of Ekwulobia under any guise whether as a caretaker or Development Union.
The statement read in part: “That a vote of no confidence be and is hereby passed on Igwe Emmanuel Chukwukadibia Onyeneke, Ezejiofor 11 Ekwulobia.
“We reject the appointment of Rev Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeike as President General of Ekwulobia under any guise whether as a caretaker or Development Union.
“We hereby recall all our representatives in the Igwe’s cabinet and traditional council whether as Ichie, Aka-Ichie or Chief until when lasting peace is restored in Ekwulobia.
“The Agba Development Union shall continue to stand and support in its entirety the peace report of the religious/clergy committee dated 31st December, 2016.
“Henceforth we will no longer participate in any of the traditional activities of Igwe E.C. Onyeneke until peace is restored in Ekwulobia. Any person(s) who may continue to do so is on his own and do not represent Agba village.”
The release added that the signatories were for themselves and on behalf of the entire people of Agba village, Ekwulobia under the auspices of Agba Development Union.
The Agba Development Union release added as well that: “The Agba development Union, ADU, therefore condemns in very strong terms, the attitude of HRM Igwe E. C. Onyeneke in truncating every attempt/move to resolve the lingering leadership crisis in Ekwulobia particularly the last peace report of the religious/clergy group.
“Igwe’s continuous rejection of peace process and accord marks him out as lacking in the acumen and sagacity to lead than to rule.
“Igwe’s interference in the leadership of the town union whereby he chooses and handpicks any person of his choice who agrees to do his biddings as the President-General without following due process of democratic election is highly condemnable.
“Let us remind all that on 31st December, 2016, the religious Group in conjunction with all present placed a course against any person, persons or group of persons who win in any way truncate, disrupt or sabotage the peace accord.”
The release tagged: ‘a communique issued by Agba Development Union: a call to action for peace in Ekwulobia’ went memory lane of how the crisis in Ekwulobia started and efforts made at achieving peace and how Igwe Onyeneke truncated the entire peace process.
The release read in part: ‘’The good people and members of Agba Development Union, Ekwulobia, held their mid-year meeting on 29th June, 2019 at the Agba Village hall during which they reflected on the goings on and various issues concerning Agba Village in particular and Ekwulobia town at large, especially issues bordering on the lingering leadership crisis in Ekwulobia town. The people of Agba village painstakingly recalled with nostalgia the last peace efforts made by the Ekwulobia Indigenous/working clergy and religious group.
“The report of this committee of notable, prominent, and highly revered men of God contained recommendations which if genuinely accepted and acted upon would have been the permanent solution to the totality of all the problems that have bedevilled the Ekwulobia town since the coming into office and mounting to the throne as the traditional ruler and Igwe of Ekwulobia by HRM Igwe Emmanuel Chukwukadibia Onyeneke, Ezejiofor II of Ekwulobia in 2009.
“The meeting further recalled that when the peace report was presented to all the people of Ekwulobia on the 31st December, 2016, in the presence of Igwe E.C Onyeneke at the Ekwulobia township stadium, it was wholeheartedly and sincerely accepted by all and Sundry as a working document towards the realization of permanent, sustainable and lasting peace in Ekwulobia. The key recommendations in the peace report which was unanimously accepted and instantly put into implementation include the immediate collapse and dissolution of the two factional town union leadership of Ekwulobia Peoples Assembly, EPA led by Engr. Emeka Madubuchi and the other faction of Ekwulobia Development Union led by Rev. Chukwuemeka Ezeike. It is instructive to note that these two factional leaders are natives and members of Agba village, Ekwulobia i.e (Agba Development Union. ADU).
“The immediate formation of a new interim Executive Committee of Ekwulobia town with 2 (two) representatives was instantly put into effect as all the villages consulted amongst their members present as the August assembly and selected two representatives each that constituted the interim Executive Committee.
“The formation of a 29 member constitution Drafting/Review Committee with the mandate to draft another constitution for Ekwulobia town using the existing 1994 and 2010 constitutions as working documents. Not few were bewildered when Igwe said that he will go back and study the report all Ekwulobia people present have adopted.
HRM, Igwe E. C Onyeneke who was physically present witnessed the selection by each of the 9 (nine) villages of the 2 persons each that constituted the 18-man interim Committee.
“It is mostly regretted that soon after the remarkable event of 31st December, 2016, and while the Ekwulobia community was still enjoying the aura of the recent peace that just arrived in the town, the traditional ruler and Igwe E. C Onyeneke made a U-turn and roundly rejected the peace report of the religious group laying unsubstantiated claims and allegations against the reverend fathers, priests, clergy men and even members of the just constituted interim committee. He successfully frustrated and truncated the peace process and set up a Kangaroo Executive Committee led by Rev. Chukwuemeka Ezeike whom he transmuted from a care-taker chairman and transformed into a President General.
“It is also worthy of note that in one of ADU previous meetings, pastor Ezeike was invited to explain to ADU how he became the PG, he could not offer any meaningful explanation except that he is the President General recognized by Anambra State Government. Amid this crisis, all the entitlements due to Agba from within Ekwulobia and outside Ekwulobia including the ones from the Anambra State/Federal Government are not being accounted for.
“The Igwe has continued since then to handle the leadership of Ekwulobia town with every sense of high-handedness employing every scheme of divide and rule which has continued to disunite the people and negatively affected the needed development in the town.
“It must be recalled that since Igwe E.C. Onyeneke mounted the throne (stool) as the traditional ruler and Igwe of Ekwulobia about a decade ago, peace has eluded the town and yet he is neither perturbed nor ever lose his sleep about it.
“In fact, it is like the Igwe is benefiting from the leadership crisis in the town otherwise this last attempt by the religious group was the 4th in the series of efforts to find peace in Ekwulobia but the Igwe personally truncated them all,” the release concluded.